Thursday after Easter 5
May 22, 2014
He is Risen. He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!
This coming Sunday is the Sixth Sunday of Easter. It is also the Commemoration of Bede the Venerable, Theologian. As is standard for the liturgical calendar we use, there are no special propers for this commemoration. We will, however, remember Bede in our prayers and there will be an insert about him so you can learn a bit about this saint.
For our liturgy we will use the third setting of the Divine Service (page 184). This is a communion service. You may prepare by reading and pondering one or more of our hymns on the Lord’s Supper (LSB 617-643; LW 236-250; TLH 304-316). Scripture reminds us that examining oneself prior to receiving the sacrament is a vital step in receiving it for ones benefit (1 Corinthians 11:28), and our hymns are a wonderful guide for this. (Of course, they are not the only guide one might use.)
The appointed lessons for Sunday are Acts 17:16-31, 1 Peter 3:13-22 and John 14:15-21. The text for Sunday’s message is John 14:16. The message is titled “Are You Ready?” Our opening hymn will be “Sing with All the Saints in Glory” (LSB 671). Our sermon hymn will be “Christ Is Arisen” (LSB 459). Our closing hymn will be “Stay with Us” (LSB 879). Our distribution hymns will be “He Is Arisen! Glorious Word” (LSB 488), “At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing” (LSB 633) and “Jesus, Christ, My Sure Defense” (LSB 741).
Below is a video of the Lutheran Warbler, singing our sermon hymn, “Christ Is Arisen.”
Our Sunday morning Bible hour begins at 9:00 am. We continue with Colossians.
What now follows is a summary of the lessons provided by the LCMS.
The Lord Jesus Comforts Us with the Preaching of His Resurrection
“The God who … gives to all mankind life and breath and everything” (Acts 17:24–25) wants all people to seek Him that they might “feel their way toward him and find him” (Acts 17:27). But in our sinful ignorance, we humans turn instead to idols “formed by the art and imagination of man” (Acts 17:29). Therefore, God appointed the Man of Righteousness, Jesus Christ, and “has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:31). Because He lives, we also live (John 14:19) in His forgiveness, and thus we love Him and keep His commandments (John 14:15). While the risen Lord prepares us for His ascension, He will not leave us “as orphans” (John 14:18), but He gives “another Helper,” the Holy Spirit, to be with us forever (John 14:16) through the preaching of “Jesus and the resurrection” (Acts 17:18). Because He “suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous” (1 Peter 3:18), we “honor Christ the Lord as holy” and are always “prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks” for the reason for our hope (1 Peter 3:15). Our Baptism “now saves” us “as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21).
16 Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. 17So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. 18Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. 19And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.” 21Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.
22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28for
“‘In him we live and move and have our being’;
as even some of your own poets have said,
“‘For we are indeed his offspring.’
29 Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
1 Peter 3:13-22
13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil.
18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
A Few Quick Note:
- Thanks to a surprise celebration of my receiving a D.Min degree, Church Council was postponed last Sunday. We will meet after the worship service this Sunday.
- The June newsletter will be available Sunday.
- A 3-minute video about our summer series, Resolving Everyday Conflict, is available for anyone to view.
- This Thursday, May 29, is our annual joint Ascension Day worship service. The LC-MS congregations in the upstate gather at Good Shepherd (Greenville) to celebrate the day. The service begins at 7:00 pm. Pastor Rickert will be giving the sermon this year.
- Don’t forget, you can listen to Easter music throughout the Easter season through live streaming on your internet on Lutheran Public Radio. Also, CLASSIC99.com, which is part of the KUFO family, is playing mostly Easter music.
Well, I pray we will see you Sunday morning.
Easter Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert